July 31, 2011

Book Review: Forbidden

Title: Forbidden
Publisher: Simon Pulse (an imprint of Simon & Schuster Canada)
On-Sale Date: June 28, 2011
Length: 454 pages
Format: ARC paperback

This review contains mature content.

Before you read this review you need to know what incest is.  According to dictionary.com:
incest:  sexual intercourse between persons so closely related that they are forbidden by law to marry; also :  the crime of engaging in such sexual intercourse”.

I’m only discussing incest within the confines of Forbidden.  Any personal views on the subject are null and void.  I am only focusing on incest between these two fictional characters.  The opinions I have formed are only based on what I have read in Forbidden.

Lochan and Maya have always been there for each other.  Together they raise their younger brothers and sister.  Their mother is barely home.  Whatever money she hasn’t spent on alcohol goes to her five kids to pay the bills and buy groceries.
Their mother is spending less and less time at the house, and more time with her boyfriend leaving, everything to Lochan and Maya.
Having been born only thirteen months apart, Lochan and Maya have always been close.  They’re best friends and equals.
Only now they’re becoming closer than any siblings should be.
What happens when their relationship is wrong, but feels so natural?

Forbidden was first and foremost a book of love.
I never knew you could love someone so deeply.
This was not a book you would forget, and this story will remain a part of you.
The ache held your heart.  The sadness seeped into it.  This book would not let me go, nor did I want it to.

It was one of the most horribly depressing things I had ever read, but I did not regret having picked it up for one moment.  This was the best kind of pain.  I remain so completely grateful.  This was a beautiful, painful experience.

Love was equal to pain.

There was no possible fairytale ending for Lochan and Maya, but Tabitha ensured she gave them the best ending.  It was an ending that would be remembered.  It was horrible and devastating, and I expect to be haunted by it all for a long time.  The end was their final punishment.  They knew the world’s view on what they were doing, what they were feeling.
You could call it stupidity, but it was just desperate love.
Their love consumed them.
They loved each other in every way.  It killed them knowing the way they wanted to love each other was taboo in every way.

I constantly wanted to defend Lochan and Maya.  They were so fragile.
I wanted them to be able to keep their relationship, because it was what they needed.  They had always relied on each other  They had been through battles and deserved to keep what they wanted most.  It really seemed like they couldn’t live without one another.  They needed each other's presence nearby to survive.  They needed to be able to talk and touch (simply holding hands would do).
Their incestuous romantic relationship seemed to develop at a rapid pace, but sometimes the most powerful things do.  They had loved each other all their lives and for some reason that love, just changed to something different, unspeakable.

Forbidden did not condone incest or rape.  The reader simply explored these subjects through the character’s souls.

Normally, a couple so dependent on each other would be a sign that one or both characters was missing some strength or self respect or something. However, Lochan and Maya were bonded through a lifetime of only relying on each other.
Lochan and Maya lives’ were difficult to live.

This book was very upsetting.

Lochan had a paralyzing fear of all social situations.  Since he was in his senior year of high school the teachers had learned not to call on him.  He handed in written assignments in place of presentations, and spent breaks alone.  Lochan was practically incapable of having conversations with anyone outside his immediate family, unless the situation warranted it.  He was the school freak.  Unfortunately, even with those who stood by his side, it was immeasurably difficult to conquer his phobia.
You really wanted Lochan to be able to handle his fear.

The chapters alternated between Lochan and Mara’s perspectives.  It was important that the reader saw this story from both sides.  Forbidden wouldn’t have had as strong an impact, and the plot couldn’t have made as much sense, if the story was one sided.

The reader forged an immediate connection with the characters.  You saw the characters as individuals before they spiraled into an unbelievable romantic relationship.
It was forbidden, but it was hard to call it wrong when reading how they felt about each other.
You felt so much pity for them.  They were in so much pain, and their relationship was simply their outlet.  They clung together.  They were all each other had.  For years they counted on each other so completely, and cared for their siblings.  They didn’t know how to be without each other.

Everything was against them, except each other.

Their relationship always had a time limit.

All the characters that were created for the world of Forbidden fit into place, and were vital to the story.  The alcoholic mother was a dark cloud hanging over her children’s heads.  The younger siblings were only starting to get a sense that their family of five was not what society would have deemed normal.
Kit played a key role as the middle child.  He was volatile, and unsettled.  Like his older siblings, Kit had to grow up too quickly.  Everything took its tole.

I wished better for the Whitley children.

Once you were sucked into Forbidden it was very difficult to tear yourself away.
A million times you'd think it couldn't get worse, it couldn't get better, but it did, right until the end.

Premise: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Overall: 5/5

Disclosure: I received an advanced copy from the publisher. This did not influence my review in any way.


  1. I have this on my shelf and I'm looking to start it soon. I know it's going to break my heart, but I'm glad it's something that's being discussed.

  2. A friend loaned me her copy (an earlier-printed edition published in Britain) and it was - and will likely remain - one of the best books I've ever read. I agree with everything you wrote. The story made me angry about any situation where society does not allow two people to publicly acknowledge their love. Regardless of the reader's personal feelings toward what Lochan and Maya feel for one another, your heart weeps for these two characters.

  3. ☆★bravo,brilliant choice & u compelled me to r&r this for my own blog. U were very fair and impartial as to your personal feelings on the hotly debated subject matter.
    r review was very good and drew me into the story b4 i even picked up the book.
    New follower tooツ

  4. Forbidden never let me set it down. It never let me stop worrying. And it never let me stop hoping for the best.